United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Northeastern Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
BARBARA D HOLMES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Honorable Waverly D. Crenshaw, Chief District Judge
filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 405(g)
and 1383(c)(3) to obtain judicial review of the final
decision of the Social Security Administration
(“Commissioner”) denying Plaintiff's claim
for disabled widow's insurance benefits under Title II of
the Social Security Act (“the Act”). The case is
currently pending on Plaintiff's motion for judgment on
the administrative record (see Docket Entry
(“DE”) 11), to which Defendant has filed a
response. See DE 16. This matter has been referred
to the undersigned pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) for
initial consideration and a report and recommendation.
See DE 4, 17.
review of the administrative record as a whole and
consideration of the parties' filings, the undersigned
Magistrate Judge respectfully recommends that Plaintiff's
motion for judgment on the administrative record (DE 11) be
filed an application for disabled widow's insurance
benefits on August 13, 2015 in which she asserted that she
was unable to work due to back pain, neck pain, right arm
pain, left knee pain, and vision problems. See
Transcript of the Administrative Record (DE 7) at 93,
She alleged a disability onset date of January 16, 2014, but
later amended this to August 17, 2015. AR 39-40, 111.
applications were denied initially and upon reconsideration
AR 93, 111. Pursuant to her request for a hearing before an
administrative law judge (“ALJ”), Plaintiff
appeared with counsel and testified at a hearing before ALJ
Todd Spangler on August 21, 2017. AR 36. On March 9, 2018,
the ALJ denied the claim. AR 13-15. On July 23, 2018, the
Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for a review
of the ALJ's decision (AR 1-3), thereby making the
ALJ's decision the final decision of the Commissioner.
This civil action was thereafter timely filed and this Court
has jurisdiction. 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).
THE ALJ FINDINGS
of the decision, the ALJ made the following enumerated
1. It was previously found that the claimant is the unmarried
widow of the deceased insured worker and has attained the age
of 50. The claimant met the non-disability requirements for
disabled widow's benefits set forth in section 202(e) of
the Social Security Act.
2. The prescribed period ends on September 30, 2021.
3. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful
activity since August 17, 2015, the alleged onset date (20
CFR 404.1571 et seq.).
4. The claimant has the following severe impairments: joint
dysfunction status-post reconstructive surgery of a
weight-bearing joint; disorder of the spine (20 CFR
5. The claimant does not have an impairment or combination of
impairments that meets or medically equals the severity of
one of the listed impairments in 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P,
Appendix 1 (20 CFR 404.1520(d), 404.1525 and 404.1526).
6. After careful consideration of the entire record, the
undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual
functional capacity to perform light work as defined in 20
CFR 404.1567(b) with the claimant capable of lifting and
carrying up to 20 pounds on an occasional basis and 10 pounds
on a frequent basis. The claimant is capable of standing
and/or walking for six hours during an eight-hour workday,
and sitting for a total of six hours during an eight-hour
workday. The claimant is capable of occasionally stooping,
kneeling, crouching, crawling, and climbing ramps, stairs,
ladders, ropes and scaffolds.
7. The claimant is unable to perform any past relevant work
(20 CFR 404.1565).
8. The claimant was born on August 17, 1965 and was 50 years
old, which is defined as an individual closely approaching
advanced age, on the alleged disability onset date (20 CFR
9. The claimant has at least a high school education and is
able to communicate in English (20 CFR 404.1564).
10. Transferability of job skills is not material to the
determination of disability because using the
Medical-Vocational Rules as a framework supports a finding
that the claimant is “not disabled, ” whether or
not the claimant has transferable job skills (See SSR 82-41
and 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 2).
11. Considering the claimant's age, education, work
experience, and residual functional capacity, there are jobs
that exist in significant numbers in the national economy
that the claimant ...